Ambiguity in the sentence

Hi, guys. 元気?

I’m really confused about how to translate the following sentence:

“劣ったところを忘れるために、自分たちは強い仲間だという、つくり話をかんがえだします。自分たちは正常の人間だが、相手はきずものだときめつけることもあります。”

I use to struggle to find the subjects of the verbs. I see two possibilities here:

“In order to forget their point of inferiority, we say they are a resilient companion and invent a fiction. And it also happens that sometimes the other simply decides that we are someone without virtue, even though we are normal people.”

“In order to forget their point of inferiority, they say they’re a resilient companion and invent a fiction. And it also happens that sometimes they arbitrarily decide that we are someone without virtue, even though we are normal people.”

In the first one, the subject acts like defending a friend who has inferiority complex (that’s the matter of the text).

In the second one, “自分たち” IS the person who suffers from inferiority complex.

To contextualize better, here’s the part of the article that precedes the one was translated:

“差別されるものに、劣ったところがあるのでなく、差別するほうに、どこか劣ったところがあるのです。劣ったところを忘れるために、自分たちは強い仲間だという、つくり話をかんがえだします。自分たちは正常の人間だが、相手はきずものだときめつけることもあります。”

Would you have some tips that could help me solve these ambiguity problems? Hopefully, although English is not my native language, you can understand me.

ありがとうございます!

This is a bit out of context, so take my interpretation with a grain of salt, but I would go with your second interpretation. The people who discriminate themselves believe that they are strong.

A very loose translation could look something like this:
“People who discriminate hide their own inferiority by fooling themselves in thinking they are strong. Sometimes other people decide that there’s something wrong with you, regardless of how normal you actually are.”

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Thanks for your help, Kqaotixさん.

But assuming your translation is correct, can we use the word 仲間 to refer to ourselves?

Just looking at the paragraph in question, I would say something like.

In order to forget our own weaknesses, we concoct a story in our heads that we are a strong group of friends. We also sometimes arbitrarily decide that the other side is weak, even though we’re just normal people ourselves.

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Where is discriminate coming from?

Edit: oh… Is it in the original paragraph? Kinda confused at what we’re actually supposed to be translating then.

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From the line before. I see the subject of 劣ったところを忘れる as 差別するほう.

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Ah, I guess I should have read the whole thing then. Just took a stab during a short break, so thought the initial part would be sufficient.

The full passage doesn’t seem ambiguous.

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I’m not sure to be quite honest. But it would be strange for me to think that this refers to someone’s perception of friends that discriminate others. The consecutive uses of 自分たち is kinda annoying, but if you see those as purely reflexive and self contained in their own group of words 自分たち1 = 強い仲間たどいう話を作る, and 自分たち2 = 正常の人間, then it makes sense to me that they designate something different.

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Here’s the whole text:

"背の打ちどころのない人間は、いません。誰でも、どこか欠けています。欠けているところだけみつめると、自分はダメ人間だと思えてきます。劣等感ともいいます。
劣等感を忘れるときがあります。それは強いものの仲間に入って、「劣った人間」をばかにするときです。ほんとうは強くないのに、生まれつき強いものの仲間であるような気になって、劣等感から解放されます。
差別されるものに、劣ったところがあるのでなく、差別するほうに、どこか劣ったところがあるのです。劣ったところを忘れるために、自分たちは強い仲間だという、つくり話をかんがえだします。自分たちは正常の人間だが、相手はきずものだときめつけることもあります。”

I see. Thanks for the full text. Then I would stick with my interpretation, but add the idea of “group of friends” like Leebo translated. They fool themselves in thinking they’re a strong group of friends, that they’re strong people (together).

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Ooooh, maybe the key to understand the sentence is 自分たち. It’s plural, so it would be natural to refer to someone from your group as 仲間.

You guys from this community are amazing.

Thank you so much!

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